What does our Occulted Imam expect the Shias to do during his Ghaybat (occultation)?
In a letter he wrote to Shaikh al-Mufid, where he acknowledged his merit and being pleased with him, the Imam prayed for the success of the Shias in obeying Allah. He then writes: "If our Shia, may Allah give them success to His obedience, unite together by the hearts in fulfilling the covenant that they were trusted with, the grace of meeting us would not have been delayed for them; and happiness would have reached them quickly by witnessing us." The message our Imam conveys is that if his devotees unite together by the souls and hearts based on the bond of Wilayah which exist between them, then the reappearance and Faraj will be manifested and hastened. This means that the believers should come together and unite under the cause of the Awaited Imam, which is the covenant of Wilayah. This unity among believers is not limited to simply reciting Dua’a Wahdat after prayers or gathering in religious occasions only during the holy months of Ramadhan and Muharram. It is an unbreakable unity that should emanate from the heart. No matter how many differences we have with our brothers who follow a different Marja or have a different opinion, or if we suffer from petty mundane issues, as long as the bond of Wilayah exists, we should forgive and make all efforts to maintain that unity that is established under the Straight Path.
It has been narrated that a person came to Imam Sadiq (peace be upon him) and claimed that "we" in Kufa were ready to fight for the Imam's cause. Imam Sadiq asked, "How are the people united? Is the situation such that any believer can place his hands in the pocket of his fellow believer and take what he wants?" The man answered negatively to that question. The main point which the Imam was trying to make is that real unity is a unity of the souls which leads to complete trust and love like a magnetic attraction, where the magnet is our unwavering love and submission to the Wilayah of Ahl-ul-Bayt.
The profound words of Lady Fatima (peace be upon her) answer our questions about how to establish unity when she said, "Allah has created Wilayah to displace the disunity in the Muslim nation with unity." When we as Muslims accept and submit to this leadership assigned upon us by Allah, there will not be any disunity caused due to disagreement, because there will only be one "captain" of the ship.
This bond of Wilayah among the believers is such that nothing can come in between them, and one is ready to give and sacrifice for one another. This quality of exceptional brotherhood which exceeds blood relations is what our Imam is looking for. These are the kinds of soldiers which he can depend on to be among the fortunate 313 believers who will support the Imam's government and who will tread the path of the martyrs of Karbala. We should take this moment to question ourselves whether we are really those believers who have unified with our brothers and sisters to the point of trust with our own property and what is valuable to us.
The Mahdi in Muslim Traditions (Part 1)
The Mahdi in Muslim Traditions (Part 2)
What Are the Most Important Duties of Shiites in the Absence of Imam Mahdi? (Part 1)
The Yemeni Uprising
Devotion to Hussein
Signs of the Reappearance of Imam Mahdi (Part 2)